How long have I been the Midwest’s arboricultural expert? Count my rings.

I’ve been at this awhile, and what I’ve learned in that time, is that you can’t just treat part of the tree (like a sick limb), you have to take care of the entire tree. From the crown to the root system.

You can’t simply trim and leave. You have to diagnose the exact problem, heal it, and put in place a long-term plan to keep the problem from coming back.

As the only ISA Board Certified Master Arborist in the state, and one of the few in the entire Midwest, I’m the expert you call for proper, professional, reliable tree care and arboricultural information.

Trees are a valuable asset to your landscape and properly caring for their health and beauty is essential to their health and longevity. But it can also be a daunting task.

Caring for plants (trees and shrubs) with an integrated plan for establishing and sustaining the long-term performance of the entire landscape is called PLANT HEALTH CARE (PHC). This incorporates landscape design, specific care practices, integrated pest management, regular monitoring, and client input and education.

Aspen provides a wide variety of professional PHC services to the Sioux Falls area to help keep your landscape looking its absolute best. With the area and state's only ISA Board Certified Master Arborist, Sam Kezar (MW4503BT), you can feel comforted that your trees and shrubs will get the proper diagnosis, professional monitoring, best scientific management plans, and correct information as to the care and treatment of your landscape.

Aspen prides itself on only recommending and providing treatments that are necessary and effective. We listen your needs and desires for the performance of your plants and can deliver. But we do not do blanket treatments, sprays, injections, or other control measures unless the problem with the plant warrants it. This is not only better for the environment and plants, but saves the client money while still getting a wonderful looking landscape.


"Keep 'em from Dying!"

Summer: Its busy and tough to keep track of your kids… let alone the health of your trees. The majority of tree health issues need to be caught early or prevented and if you don't have the time to call or set up the necessary services, this plan is perfect for you. It includes:

  • 2 Growing Season visits to your landscape to evaluate every tree and shrub on your property.
  • Customized annual budget so we can either take care of any issues as needed or run every treatment by you if they come up.
  • 10% off basic PHC services
  • $180 per year

"Make 'em Perfect!"

You love your landscape and want everything to be as healthy and beautiful as it can be. But caring for everything to make it thrive and not just survive can be daunting or just out of your area of expertise. This plan will make your landscape brilliant and your neighbors jealous!

  • 3 Seasonal visits to evaluate the health and vibrancy of your landscape.
  • Customized annual budget to plan for the advanced care your plants need to be at the top of their game.
  • 10% off all services
  • $375 per year



There are many diseases, pathogens, and insects that attack trees. Urban trees are more susceptible to these problems because of the high amounts of stress involved with growing in an urban environment. Choosing an arborist who can properly diagnose a tree issue is very important to the long term success and health of your trees.

Common treatments include the following:

  • Emerald Ash Borer (EAB)
    EAB will come to South Dakota and Sioux Falls. The question is, when? Until the state department of agriculture confirms that EAB has been found within Sioux Falls or within 20 miles of a property, we highly recommend AGAINST treating ash trees for EAB. The good news is we are well equipped to treat for EAB and keep your valuable ash trees around when the time comes.
  • Apple Scab
    Apple scab is a fungal disease that needs to be done before the infection occurs. 3-4 foliar applications of a fungicide is needed based on spring weather patterns.
  • Diplodia Blight (aka Sphaeropsis)
    Affecting most 2-needle pines (most commonly Austrian Pine). A fungal infection of the new shoot growth. 3 applications of fungicide at bud break to protect new growth along with treatment with growth hormone and other cultural practices to keep from stressing the tree. Over fertilization can be a cause.
  • Rhizosphaera Needle Cast on Spruce
    A Fungal infection of spruce trees usually starting in lower branches. Common in wind row trees, stressed spruce, or spruce in areas with lack of airflow to dry out inner needles. Treatment is 3-4 applications of a foliar fungicide spray during new needle growth in spring for up to 3 years.
  • Zimmerman Pine Moth
    A native moth that typically only attacks pine and spruce trees when stressed. Most commonly attacks austrian pine and scotch pine. Cultural practices to keep trees healthy is best defense. Insecticide sprays to the bark in the early spring and again in august may be necessary while tree is being treated to recovering from stress.
  • Bur Oak Blight
    A native fungal infection affecting native bur oak trees. Usually does not kill the tree outright, but multi-year infections can weaken the tree and cause it to be susceptible to other major problems. Treatment includes systemic injection of fungicide and application of growth hormone.
  • Bronze Birch Borer
    Native flathead borer attacking mostly paper birch. Will only attack tree when stressed. Does not regularly attack river birch. Systemic insecticide treatments to kill larvae along with cultural practices to reduce stress and gain tree health.
  • Dutch Elm Disease Prevention
    A non-native fungal infection of native elm trees spread by roots or elm bark beetles. The only cure for DED is a preventative injection of a fungicide. 3 years of coverage with 99% effectiveness.
  • Anthracnose (spring leaf drop)
    A usually minor fungal infection of leaves causing them to drop early in the spring. Usually not damaging to tree health, but can be unsightly or damaging if high infections happen in multiple years or to stressed trees. 3-4 applications of foliar fungicide prior to infection during leaf expansion.

CHLOROSIS (yellow leaves)

A problem where the tree struggles to get enough iron or manganese from the soil in order to make chlorophyll (what makes leaves green). Most common with river birch, silver maple, and red oaks in eastern South Dakota. This is more a compatability problem with the tree and the soil. Effective treatments combine multiple practices that include root system management, direct injection, growth hormones, mulch and organic bio-enhancement.


A Pro-Biotic liquid compost that feeds your lawn and improves soil health, naturally.

PURITEA is a 100% organic compost tea that is formulated and made at our office. It acts as both a fertilizer and a biological soil enhancement product.

    These benefits result in healthy, living soils. And healthy soil means healthy plants.
    • Increases microbiological activity in the soil.
    • Balances soil pH and unlocks essential nutrients.
    • Increases rooting depth and overall root system health.
    • Promotes healthy fungal and bacterial root/soil relationships.
    • Improves natural nutrient cycles.
    PURITEA is best used as a replacement to your traditional lawn fertilizer programs.
    • Only 2 to 3 applications necessary per year!
    • Applied as a liquid with no wait time for kids or pets!
    • Minimal chemical use to control weeds in separate applications.
    PURITEA is a wonderful root system enhancement product for trees.
    • Spring and Fall deep root injections to add the necessary organic matter and nutrients your trees need to thrive in harsh, urban environments.
    Trees, Shrub, Lawns, Vegetable Gardens, Flower Gardens along with others.

    • All natural
    • 100% organic
    • No smell or residue
    • Environmentally friendly


There are many tree diseases and insect problems in the Sioux Falls area and Aspen Arboriculture can help keep your trees healthy with preventative care. Some of the common tree disease and insect issues that require preventative treatments in Sioux Falls include: Apple scab, cedar apple rust, dutch elm disease, Diplodia tip blight, and Rhizosphaera needle cast.



Professionally securing mature tree branches with defects or weak attachments can prolong the life of the tree and reduce the potential of failure or damage from severe weather, heavy snow, or ice. We will assess your tree and install the right support system to minimize movement of vulnerable sections in strong winds or due to snow and ice. We uses the innovative Cobra cabling technique which is both flexible and shock-absorbing. Cobra cabling is an industry-preferred technique because it does not require drilling into branches and encourages the tree to re-grow supporting wood.


If you are worried about a tree's health and your home and families' safety, we can provide a detailed assessment of the trees health and structure and how that is related to any potential targets. This process is also used in cases where a tree is being considered for removal.


If girdling roots (roots circling and choking the trunk of a tree underground) are suspected to be the cause of damage or symptoms to a tree, Aspen Arboriculture uses a compressed air tool called an Air Spade to gently remove the soil around the base (root collar) of the tree to diagnose the problem. Often times root pruning is then performed to fix the issue.

This process is also used to de-compact and aerate the soil around the base of the tree to encourage more root growth and to incorporate organic material to the soil to improve the roots of the tree.


Aspen Arboriculture provides a variety of treatments to help maintain the health of your trees' root systems. Aspen evaluates the situation with soil tests and may recommend a course of treatment or preventative care to help improve the overall health of your root system and soil. This may include: Critical root zone soil aeration and soil enhancement, root collar excavation, radial trenching using an air spade, fertilization, or PURITEA treatments.


If your soil tests for nutrient deficiencies, Aspen Arboriculture may prescribe a fertilizing plan designed to specifically fill the void of nutrient(s) that is deficient. Fertilizing may not always be necessary, but can be a limiting factor in your trees' ability for health or susceptibility to pests or disease. Our nutrient rich fertilizer product, PURITEA, can improve the soils structure and allow for more nutrients to become available for your trees, which is often the case in the Sioux Falls area.


For the ongoing health of your trees, Aspen Arboriculture is available for ongoing site visits to properly monitor the progress of your trees. This will help to catch any problems before they become obvious or detrimental to a tree's health. See Service Contracts


Many Aspen Arboriculture clients want to be informed of the best action for their trees. We can provide that information with consultation visit. In most instances minimal treatment and often nothing is required. We believe in tree preservation and care and only the necessary work for the health, longevity, and safety of your trees. Contact us for more information on consultations.


Pruning isn't always necessary, but it is an important part of tree maintenance within Sioux Falls and urban areas. Pruning recommendations are made in accordance with the industry ANSI A300 pruning standards and in the best interest of the homeowners wishes, the trees health, and any city or government regulations.

Aspen Arboriculture Solutions won't necessarily perform the pruning that is prescribed. However, detailed pruning specifications, following the ANSI A300 standards, can be written to have one of our preferred contractors perform the work safely and exactly to the high quality standards we demand.


If we assess for a tree to be removed on your property, we will recommend one of our preferred contractors to complete the work safely, efficiently, and to the high quality standards that we expect. If you decide to use a local tree removal service of your choosing, please follow these recommendations for your safety and security:

  • Make sure the service is focused on the safety required to do the job, including following safety regulations. (i.e. wears helmets and safety fall protection)
  • Interview the sales person and ask how they will remove the tree (e.g. Will you be lowing the pieces by rope? or will heavey equipment be needed to remove the wood?)
  • Obtain a written Certificate of Insurance of insurance before the job starts or you accept the bid and their city licence number if in Sioux Falls.


The key to long lived and healthy trees starts with high quality trees and proper planting. Ensure your tree gets the proper care and attention it needs to live a long and healthy life. All planting and planting plans are done according to ANSI A300 standards.

Aspen will do small tree and individual tree plantings for homeowners. We also specialize in developing complete tree planting plans and then working with our preferred landscape installer to provide the highest quality trees, design, and installation.

arboriculure definition
Arboriculture /ar·bor·i·cul·ture/
The care of trees.
A person who cares for trees.
Consulting Arborist
An information provider and industry expert on tree related matters.